I first got an email from the executive offices offering me what you had suggested they might: cancel for full refund or keep the reservation for a 20% refund. I rejected that and told them in an email that "Your contract states that I may receive a minimum recovery of $5000 if I take this issue to arbitration and am awarded by the arbitrator an amount greater than Priceline's last written settlement offer. If I do not hear from you again within 3 days I will initiate the arbitration process." I also sent them a copy of a very formal-looking arbitration complaint that I had prepared to initiate the arbitration process. (It is sometimes helpful to be a retired attorney.)
Approximately 3 days later I got a phone call in which they upped their offer. I had earlier told them I would not post the actual amount here. I will state that I initially told them I was willing to settle by keeping the existing reservation at no cost to me.
The Express Deal I originally accepted was for a 3-star hotel, 1 King Bed + Sofabed - Standard Room; Empire State Building area (should have been Times Square area); $96/night Dec. 22-Dec. 26; Taxes and Fees $130.64, for a total charge of $514.64, for the Hyatt Place New York City/Times Square. I don't believe that hotel it is being offered as a PRICELINE EXPRESS Deal now, but today's posted price on Priceline is $254/night for total cost of $1,307. (The posted price today for the other Hyatt Place, in the Empire State Building area is actually lower, at $196/night.)
Also interesting is that Booking.com describes the Hyatt Place Times Square as being in the Hell's Kitchen area.
Thanks again for your help and support. This is a great site!